WARRENSBURG The Warrensburg School Board is looking for public input before it makes its final decision on whether or not to do a complete forensic audit.
The board wants to collect information from the public regarding a further detailed forensic analysis, said School Superintendent Tim Lawson.
The issue of whether or not to have a detailed forensic audit stems from an audit by the state Comptrollers Office, which is auditing every school district in the state every five years, after a scandal at a Long Island school where improper spending was discovered.
The school also conducts an external audit each year, where three auditors spend five days in the district and send a follow up report.
That audit costs the district $9,500, Lawson said. I dont know how much a forensic audit would cost, it depends on what the board decides.
The state Comptrollers Office conducted an audit of the Warrensburg School District between July 4, 2004 through Jan. 5, 2006 and did find some typical issues, according to Lawson.
The board just adopted a corrective action plan to prevent this from happening again, Lawson said.
The report, which is on the state Comptrollers web site, said that the objective of the audit was to determine if controls over cash receipts, disbursements, purchasing and payroll were appropriately designed and operating effectively.
The audit report found that the district didnt solicit properly for independent auditing services, and insurance, resulting in expenditures of over $77,000 and that the district could have saved $3,000 on fuel oil by using a state contract.
The report also found that controls were not in place to segregate duties over processing claims and cash disbursements, and that the business manager was also the purchasing agent without claims auditor.
The full board approves the list of what has been purchased at each meeting, said school board member Brian Lace. We make sure that every single claim is valid, but the state said we werent doing it right. Lace said that things like a missing purchasing order number or wrong account code can signal potential fraud.
The board itself has always been considered the claims auditor, Lace said. The state says if we dont go over every single bill nd someone absconds with school money, the board is ultimately responsible.
Lace said that he supports a full forensic audit.
A number of taxpayers have expressed concerns about financial inadequacies within the district, Lace said. Some may be true, some may not, or they all may not. But since the state found some inadequacies, it seems to point to a bigger problem.
Lace said he would like to see the issue put to rest, whether there is a problem or a set of errors caused by not going exactly by the book.
If we spend $20,000 to find something in the budget that is not absolutely necessary, we could save much more than that, he said. If they find nothing, than we may not continue, but if they do find something, they should keep digging in my opinion. I think its worth every penny. No one can say something went right or wrong unless a forensic audit is completed.